Indigenous Koalas superstar Milan Hammond, who has helped the Koalas win gold at the 2019 Arafura Games, comes from a long line of sporting tradition.
The 15-year-old’s father Alphonse formerly played in Australia’s National Basketball League with the Wollongong Hawks. Soccer, however, was the sport for Milan.
“I’ve been playing since I was seven and have never lost interest in it. My brother taught me to play, and I just love it” she said.
The Koalas, who debuted in the Arafura Games alongside their male counterparts the Indigenous Roos, only came together as a squad just before the competition started, but that didn’t stop them from dominating the women’s competition.
Milan, who is from Newcastle, speaks highly of the friendships she has made through playing soccer.
“It’s amazing, with people coming together from different places around the world” she said.
She also recalls her proudest moment as being when her mum watched her score a winning goal at national level in 2018.
“She saw me score the header to win the championship, so that was absolutely incredible for me” she said.
Despite being a hotshot striker, Milan does admit to the odd embarrassing moment when trying to bag her next goal.
“This has happened a lot, but I will go to shoot and completely miss the ball and fall flat on my face.
It’s very embarrassing, but also very funny” she said.
Next up for Milan is this year’s National Youth Championships, followed by the National Indigenous Football Championships in Nowra.